RC2014 is a range of homebrew computer kits reminiscent of what was available in the late 70s / early 80s. They are not a clone of anything specific, but there are suggestions of the ZX81, UK101, S100, Superboard II and Apple I in there.
The RC2014 Plus is a modular computer with an 8 slot backplane. It has a Z80 CPU running at 7.3728, 32k RAM (Easily upgraded to 64k), Microsoft BASIC on ROM and communicates over serial at 115,200bps via a Zilog SIO/2 UART. The backplane allows expansion modules such as official RC2014 Modules or a selection of 3rd party "Designed for RC2014" modules. The design is simple, and the standard 0.1" pitch headers encourages building your own add-ons.
The RC2014 Plus consists of the following modules;
These modules are available individually if you are upgrading an existing RC2014, or have non-standard requirements. However, for a complete computer kit, buying the RC2014 Pro will work out cheaper.
Assembly of the kit is very straightforward for anyone with basic soldering skills. All components are through-hole, and all chips are socketed. Printed instructions are included, with high res colour photos and full schematics available online [Currently on my ToDo list, so will remove this comment as soon as they're available]
When assembled, the RC2014 Plus boots straight in to Microsoft BASIC. This can be accessed through an FTDI cable and a terminal program (PuTTY, TeraTerm, Screen, etc) on your PC or laptop. Alternatively, you can use a Pi Zero Serial Terminal to plug in directly to monitor & keyboard.
Z80 running at 7.3728MHz, 32k RAM, Microsoft BASIC and 115,200bps serial is the common spec for the RC2014 Mini, RC2014 Classic and RC2014 Plus. The Mini has limited upgrade options though, and although the Classic can be upgraded, it must be done by replacing modules. The RC2014 Plus, however, uses the same PCBs as in the RC2014 Pro, and each module can be easily upgraded with just a few extra components. So if you wish to run at different speeds, have more memory, use different size ROM images, or have a second serial port, these can all be added easily and cheaply later on. Note that the ROM comes pre-programmed with MSBASIC for 32k (as per the supplied kit), and also MSBASIC for 56k and CP/M Monitor if you upgrade later on.
The RC2014 Plus Kit includes all PCBs, sockets & headers, ICs, pre-programmed ROM, passive components and USB power lead. Simple assembly guide is included, and more detailed info available on the RC2014 website. See Bill of Material link for exact list
It is assumed that you have your own soldering equipment (entry level soldering kit is sufficient), and have at least beginners experience.
You will need to supply your own USB power adapter (500ma or higher) and an FTDI cable connected to your PC/laptop
If ordering a RC2014 Plus Kit, you may wish to add extra modules. The 3 most popular options will work out cheaper if ordering from this page, as well as saving you postage. (Of course, more modules are available. Please see my Other Products for the full list)
Digital I/O Module Let the RC2014 interact with the real workload through it's 8 switch inputs and 8 LED outputs. For further info see here
Pi Zero Serial Terminal Free your RC2014 from your PC by Connecting it to an HDMI monitor and USB keyboard. For further info see here Important - This product is designed to work with the original (V1.0 - V1.3) Raspberry Pi Zero. Due to changes with the UART on the new Pi Zero W (wireless) the software I currently supply will not work
Twin Port Joystick Module Add a couple of easy to use 9-pin joystick ports to enhance the gaming appeal of your RC2014. For further info click here
Laser Cut Enclosure This laser cut poplar enclosure sandwiches the backplane to add protection and a smart wooden appearance. For further info click here
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Tinkering with old 8 bit home computers to see what can be done with modern solutions.